Santa Maria to Solvang 40 miles
Jan 28, 2014
. The smell of the broccoli fields start going and suddenly we're in vine country, the views all around are just wonderful with the mountains in the distance - it's just like France except instead of the Black Mountains in the distance they're brown where it's so dry. The climb goes on and on, the cyclemeter data shows we were over 1000ft on two of three climbs, it was hard going but no cars at all - we see some 'nodding donkeys' but not for oil the plant said processing bitchumen! Then we eventually come to the main route 101 and TomTom tells us to turn left onto it. At last we could really get up some speed, miles passed then suddenly a sign came for a turnof to Los Alamos- straight past then see a sign that says no cycles on Freeway - Freeway wt? But TomTom is on cycle route & took us here oh well it's too late we can't turn back now, then another turnoff for Los Alamos so we turn off but there's no other road & TomTom still says go back up there so off we go again. Cycling along waiting to be pulled over by the Highway Patrol but then there's a sign that says end of Freeway, made it! Really hungry now, the cheese 'Goldfish' aren't doing it any more & the banana was hours ago, then we have to turn off towards Lake Cachuma & Los Olivios. Another climb and then we're in Los Olivios & it's so beautiful, wineries with tastings everywhere but we'd better not try any yet, suddenly there's one called Blackjack Winery & Peter says did I see the sign that says it was in the film Sideways (he loved that film) so we go back to take a picture
. Then we reach Solvang, it's was a Danish settlement back in the early 1900s but is now really just for tourists, stop at the first motel we come to 'Svendsgaards Danish Lodge' they do special rates for seniors $58! Rooms fine, plenty of room for bikes, wash clothes & ourselves and out to look around. Really quaint place, full of Japanese tourists, just chocolate, nic-nac shops all tourist stuff. Had fish & chips in Irish pub, fish great but chips are disgusting like twigs and deserved being backed but we can't be bothered, just short changed the bitch on her tip. The Irish still try and get they revenge on the English, he says! Buy some fudge which turns out to be very expensive $10 then back to hotel to eat it with some red wine Peter carried along & watch Crazy Stupid Love (again but you can never get enough of the Gosling!) .
Travelodge all the way for me now if they all have a bed like last nights, so huge and must have had some kind of pillow topping, it was wonderful. A first at breakfast too an automatic pancake machine! Start out at 9.15 as usual, no rain but the clouds look a little dark. Stopped at a Walmart to buy an iphone holder for the bike, it's been such a pain not being able to hear what she says when it's in my back pocket, didn't have any bike mounted so had to settle for an arm holder. Not a bad cycle out getting hot & hilly but then disaster, first puncture - it's the old tyre that was on the bike when Neal bought it on Craig's list & always looked ropey. Luckily Peter had brought a new tyre along so changed it & inner tube but while we were there on the pavement a sweet old lady pulled up to ask if we were Ok as she had her bike in the back of her car. Then a 10 minute chat followed about where we came from & were going, all at the side of the road, really nice. Finally off again & the Tomtom took us a nice route through side roads then back on the same road again, then the climbs started